MANILA (Mabuhay) – Filipinos expected to flock to the provinces for Holy Week were warned Wednesday against boarding colorum or unregistered vessels.
The Philippine Coast Guard also encouraged the public to call its hotline 0917-PCG-DOTC (0917-724-3682) to report colorums or untoward incidents.
In a post on its website, the Coast Guard warned against “colorum” inter-island passenger vessels this Holy Week and dry (summer) season.
PCG Commandant Vice admiral Rodolfo Isorena said such colorum vessels may not comply with safety standards of the Maritime Industry Authority.
“First and foremost, they won’t give any insurance to the passengers if and when a maritime incident occurs. Most of them also do not have life vests and carry defective life rafts onboard. These violations, obviously, if tolerated may result to a major tragedy which we don’t like to happen,” Isorena said.
He added some ship operators exploit the huge number of passengers especially in areas where families will spend their vacations.
In most cases, he said colorum owners operate in spots where major shipping lines may have a hard time accommodating the big volume of passengers.
Meanwhile, the Coast Guard said its hotline will be on 24/7 to accommodate “any concerns, inquiries or reports from the public.” (MNS)